Ukraine crisis: Mayor of eastern Ukraine city of Kharkiv Gennady Kernes is shot by unidentified gunmen

Mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was shot in the back while jogging this morning

The mayor of Ukraine’s second largest city has been shot and critically wounded as the continuing unrest in Ukraine intensified and President Barack Obama announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia.

Gennady Kernes, the mayor of the eastern city of Kharkiv, was shot in the back by unidentified gunmen on Monday morning, his office said. He was reported to have been out jogging at the time.

Mr Kernes, who is said to be undergoing emergency surgery, used to be a supporter of ousted President Victor Yanukovych before positioning himself as largely loyal to the Kiev government.

In an interview with The Voice of Russia in February, he said: "We do not glorify the UPA combatants and will allow no one to destroy what many generations of the Soviet people and the generations of those making their home in today's independent Ukraine have created.

In a statement on its website, the local council said: "Doctors are fighting for his life. He is now in the emergency room undergoing an operation.”

Kharkiv, which is about 40km from the Russian border, has so far managed to keep pro-Russian militants at bay.

After initially being heavily targeted by separatists, the town has largely been successful in forcing protesters beyond the city’s borders.

Yesterday the city was the scene of clashes when football fans marching for a united Ukraine fought with pro-Russia supporters. The authorities in Kharkiv said 14 people were injured.

The shooting preceded the announcement by Mr Obama this morning that a fresh wave of sanctions would include high-technology exports to Russia’s defence industry.

According to Reuters, they are also expected to include wealthy individuals close to Putin. A full list is set to be published today.

"The goal here is not to go after Mr. Putin personally," Mr Obama said during a news conference in the Philippines. "The goal is to change his calculus with respect to how the current actions that he's engaging in could have an adverse impact on the Russian economy over the long haul."

The sanctions follow accusations that Russia had not lived up to its commitments promised under a fragile diplomatic accord aimed at easing alleged Russian provocation in Ukraine.

The shooting of Mr Kernes comes amid wider unrest in the region. On Monday morning, masked and armed militants seized a government building in another city in eastern Ukraine, Kostyantynivka, some 100 miles from the Russian border.

Pro-Russian separatists on Sunday seized control of the offices of regional state television in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk and said they would take it off air and broadcast a Kremlin-backed Russian channel instead.

And yesterday, pro-Russian militants in camouflage fatigues and black balaclavas paraded the captive European military observers before the media.

The display came hours after three Ukrainian security guards were shown bloodied, blindfolded and stripped of their trousers and shoes, their arms bound with packing tape.

Dozens of people are being held hostage, including journalists and pro-Ukraine activists, in makeshift jails in Slovyansk, as the pro-Russian insurgents strengthen their control in defiance of the interim government in Kiev and its Western supporters.

Speaking in deliberate and clipped phrases, Col Axel Schneider of Germany, speaking on behalf of the observers, insisted they were not Nato spies, as claimed by the insurgents, but a military observation mission operating under the auspices of the OSCE.

Additional reporting by Reuters

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world